Worst Iron Maiden Song

harrisdevot

Priest of the Holy Wristband
I'm happy to read such positive comments on Fortunes of War. I absolutely love this song : the intro is one of the best Harris has ever written, and it turns into one of the heavier Maiden songs. One of the highlights of a great album.
 

425

Starblind
Sanctuary!!! Worst Iron Maiden song ever
Fixed that for you. Because if you actually mean that every song ever written is better than Sanctuary, then you've missed... Popular music, really.



*Note that this was not an implication that all pop is bad, but generally speaking a majority of really bad songs are "pop". Example: This year's big pop song: "Call Me Maybe"
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Fixed that for you. Because if you actually mean that every song ever written is better than Sanctuary, then you've missed... Popular music, really.



*Note that this was not an implication that all pop is bad, but generally speaking a majority of really bad songs are "pop". Example: This year's big pop song: "Call Me Maybe"
I'm not overly fond of pop, but I think you're being way too harsh here. The bad pop songs don't make it to the top charts. Overplayed and annoying, sure. But it's surely not a bad song.
 

425

Starblind
Somehow I knew that even if I tried to dance around it, this would happen.

*Sigh*

You said it is annoying. Wouldn't that generally imply that it is therefore bad? Personally, if a song annoyed me, I would consider it bad.


And the whole point of me saying that was as a challenge to a characterization of Iron Maiden's Sanctuary as the "worst song ever." The point of me mentioning that particular pop hit was to provide an example of a song that is worse than Sanctuary. Unless you feel inclined to make an argument that "Call Me Maybe" is a better song then Sanctuary, you're really missing the intended purpose of my post.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
It is annoying because it's overplayed. Why is it overplayed? Because it's a good, catchy pop song - Obviously not to the general taste of the metal inclined listener, who quite often seem to think bad is synonymous to "pop". While I myself favor Rock music, the general anti pop (and often anything not Rock) sentiment does get to me every now and then.

And yes, I think it's a better song than Sanctuary (and by all means your post does invite to a sidetrack discusson). No contest really. I would rather listen to Sanctuary, but that's a different matter. That's only because I favor Iron Maiden, but I do try to recognise that pop music is very often well written, well performed (Ah well. There is just as much "cheating" nowadays with Metal production as with pop) and produced music. I don't know, the general attitude that pop music is bad, it just gets to me. You won't see a bad song turn into a major hit, there just isn't any way around it. It has to be appealing to the intended audience or it won't sell, regardless of the marketing.
 

425

Starblind
I'm curious, by what standards do you determine one song to be better than another song? Surely one of them is not "musical complexity/diversity" or "display of skill by musicians", because "Call Me Maybe" is not strong in either of those categories. It is musically rather bland, relying almost entirely (aside from the intro verse) on a single melody. The music appears to be entirely synthesizers, which are not bad in and of themselves, but do not, I'm sure you will agree, have the same element of difficulty as the guitar or bass or drums, or playing keyboards in such a way that you are not repeating the same short pattern almost throughout the entire song.

Here are the good qualities of that song:
- Jepsen's vocals. They fit the song and do not seem to be digitally enhanced, unlike many modern pop vocalists
- Catchiness, you could say, is good. Really, though, I think on its own, catchiness is neither good or bad. If a song is catchy and has mostly good qualities, then that can be a good thing, but if the song is mostly bad, then catchiness is a bad thing.

So, by what standard is the song good? Is it because it sold a lot and appealed to a mass audience? By the same standard, then, Metallica's best song is Enter Sandman, an opinion I would guess is held by very few people who have heard any of Metallica's first four albums or even the rest of the Black Album.

I don't agree that it is annoying because it is overplayed. I have heard it surely less than 10 times (4-5 is probably an accurate guess, including five minutes ago when I found an instrumental version to search for musical complexity, which was a futile quest), yet I was annoyed by it from the very first time I heard it. Naturally, different people will find redeeming value in different songs, but I disliked this particular one from the first, and the fact that it has been overplayed does not change the fact that it annoyed me from the start.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
So, by what standard is the song good? Is it because it sold a lot and appealed to a mass audience? By the same standard, then, Metallica's best song is Enter Sandman, an opinion I would guess is held by very few people who have heard any of Metallica's first four albums or even the rest of the Black Album.
That's borderline straw argument, that is most certainly not what I said. Nice try though.

Whatever ones standards are to judge whether or not a song is good, and as you said, there are many, there just isn't any way around it. You will not see a song, or to be more precise, phonographic art (as to loosely borrow a phrase from Tore Simonsen) become extremely popular unless there is a certain appealing quality to it. As to my own stardards? I myself try and see it in relation to the genre. If you are looking for highly technical songs or feriocious virtuosity then pop isn't where you wan't to look. Consequently it's kinda the one attribute you should not assess.
 

425

Starblind
See, I think you're giving too much credit to the mass-consuming audience. I think it is definitely possible for bad music to become popular, mostly because it has happened (in my opinion). But this requires more explanation...

Contents:
I. Individual Taste in Music
II. Proving Superiority in Music
III. Contra Genre-Based Standards
-A. Contradiction
-B. Clarification of and Apology for Previous Logically Flawed Statement
-C. Example: Metallica
IV. Nota Bene

I.
I do agree that different people have different standards for what makes a good song to them. Every individual has a unique sense of life, meaning that they all enjoy different types of art. For instance, I personally place good instrumentation over good vocals. This is why I'm able to enjoy a band like Megadeth, where the vocals really aren't anything to write home about (though I would argue that they fit the music (yes, this parenthetical is an attempt to avoid a second controversy, this one about Dave Mustaine)), or able to enjoy instrumental music, such as Liquid Tension Experiement. However, other people might place a higher stock in vocal ability, and therefore do not like music without vocals. To them, Orion is a bad song because it does not have the values that they look for in music.


II.
These individual values are why we can debate taste and why no one can objectively prove that, for instance, Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Hallowed Be Thy Name or Paschendale is the best Iron Maiden song. Sure, someone can evaluate that, based on their own standards of musical excellence, Hallowed is the best song. But they cannot present a proof that will convince another person to accept that belief.*


III.
However, I can say that I do not understand the idea of setting different standards for different genres. It seems somewhat confusing, and personally I would not term a song that annoys me to be a "good song." There is no problem in calling a song that many people enjoy a bad song, so long as you do not hold any delusions about your opinion being universal and so long as you can, if prompted, provide reasoning for that view.

-A.
Setting standards for different genres, to me, is an inherently flawed process. First, if you decide that there is a lot of good music in every genre, even genres that you dislike, you will wind up terming songs that you dislike good songs. Since there is not a universal standard for what makes good songs, you will basically be saying that in your judgement, a particular song is good although you do not like it, which is at best borderline contradiction and more likely a full-on contradiction.

-B.
This program, I will also add, can cause confusion. I will use Metallica as an example again here, but first I'll go ahead and say that I may have been unclear in my previous post when I talked about popularity being a standard of taste. My intent was not to assign you that particular viewpoint, but to ask if that was your view and to discount that idea without need for a continued back in forth in the event that it was (and also to have a refutation on the record for anyone else who holds that view, even if you were to say that it is not yours). Now that I re-read it, my intent may have been unclear and I may have entered straw an territory. If I was, and it was offensive to you, I apologize, I personally dislike when people do that to me and I'm usually better about making sure I do not do that myself.

-C.
Anyway, Metallica. Metallica is a band that has straddled genres at times. Their first five studio albums plus their ninth are metal (I'll just leave out subgenres for simplicity's sake). St. Anger is also probably metal or something. Load and ReLoad, though, are not metal, rather, they could be described as "Southern Hard Rock."

Now, I do not want to debate the specific merits of the Load twins as music (I really should know better than to bring up Metallica, since it tends to open doors, something I have done too much of today, but it's such a perfect example that I can't resist), but they are clearly a different genre than Master of Puppets or the Black Album. This causes problems if we are assuming that each genre has its own standards: What is the best Metallica song? Well, by Southern hard rock standards, you might say that it's Fuel or something of that sort. By metal standards, though, you might say it's One. How do you determine which the best Metallica song? Well, you can do that easily if you have universally applied individual standards.


IV.
*N.B: At the same time, this should not be construed as "don't judge other people's tastes, don't debate taste." You cannot prove to someone that Sanctuary is better than Call Me Maybe, but you can provide reasons why, according to a particular set of musical standards, it is. And debating taste can cause someone to see something in a song that they did not before, and to enjoy it themselves. I did not used to much enjoy Metallica's One, but after reading debates where people explained why they enjoy the song, I was able to look at it from a new perspective, and learned to enjoy it.
 
Here's a better try Yax: you said "You won't see a bad song turn into a major hit, there just isn't any way around it." What is your definition of bad? --you don't seem to have defined this. Once you define it, I think you'll find there have been plenty of bad songs that have been major hits; unless your not defining "major hit" as something that sold well. I just gave you one:

 
It is annoying because it's overplayed. Why is it overplayed? Because it's a good, catchy pop song - Obviously not to the general taste of the metal inclined listener, who quite often seem to think bad is synonymous to "pop". While I myself favor Rock music, the general anti pop (and often anything not Rock) sentiment does get to me every now and then.

And yes, I think it's a better song than Sanctuary (and by all means your post does invite to a sidetrack discusson). No contest really. I would rather listen to Sanctuary, but that's a different matter. That's only because I favor Iron Maiden, but I do try to recognise that pop music is very often well written, well performed (Ah well. There is just as much "cheating" nowadays with Metal production as with pop) and produced music. I don't know, the general attitude that pop music is bad, it just gets to me. You won't see a bad song turn into a major hit, there just isn't any way around it. It has to be appealing to the intended audience or it won't sell, regardless of the marketing.
I don't think a song has to be "good" to be a huge hit. It needs to stand out, be loved AND hated by the public (sometimes). While sometimes a good song is a hit, other times, you get a song like Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Across many mediums, this is considered a terrible song. Yet it reached #2 on the CHR chart. I think it's BECAUSE it got so much attention for being so polarizing (I'm inserting a lot of opinion here).

I do agree with your general sentiment. I think there are some great pop songs out there. I love Demi Lovato's recent #1 "Give Your Heart a Break." And "Call Me Maybe" is awesome and has a cute video.

But that's my only disagreement with your post. I feel many hits are hits because of a polarization factor.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
I.
I do agree that different people have different standards for what makes a good song to them. Every individual has a unique sense of life, meaning that they all enjoy different types of art. For instance, I personally place good instrumentation over good vocals. This is why I'm able to enjoy a band like Megadeth, where the vocals really aren't anything to write home about (though I would argue that they fit the music (yes, this parenthetical is an attempt to avoid a second controversy, this one about Dave Mustaine)), or able to enjoy instrumental music, such as Liquid Tension Experiement. However, other people might place a higher stock in vocal ability, and therefore do not like music without vocals. To them, Orion is a bad song because it does not have the values that they look for in music.
Interesting discussion we're having here. What I would like to add to this part is that's not one way or the other only. I disagree with the words in red because it's more complex than that.
It's possible to both care about vocals and to not care about vocals. It depends on what is presented.

I also place music above vocals but I have certain limits. E.g. I utterly dislike Mustaine's voice. At the same time I am very much into instrumental music.

So according to my standards, if music contains vocals then these should be bearable (music is still more important), but on the other hand, I also like music without vocals, because in this way one can enjoy the music more (focus is better without a dominant factor). This already happens within Iron Maiden songs (instrumental passages).

I have a couple of hundred Jazz albums and 99,9% is without vocals. Vocals would distract the attention from the instrumentation. I also like instrumental songs in metal. E.g. Genghis Khan is my no. 10 Maiden song and Transylvania no. 21. But also other hard rock bands, e.g. Running Wild made very interesting instrumental songs.

In short: I don't find Orion that excellent but not because it is instrumental.
The reason I am not impressed is that it is a much too lengthy and repetitive instrumental.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
And debating taste can cause someone to see something in a song that they did not before, and to enjoy it themselves. I did not used to much enjoy Metallica's One, but after reading debates where people explained why they enjoy the song, I was able to look at it from a new perspective, and learned to enjoy it.
Hell yes. This is one of the most important issues of a music related forum if you ask me.

Taste is very individual and strong. It causes debate. When someone is urged to explain why (s)he (dis)likes a song, a counter-"attack" may follow when someone else feels different about it. Also the lack of explanation may cause this.

Some people are less good in explaining than others and that may cause some friction sometimes.
Also understanding people with an idea deviating from the huge majority is not always the most smooth process of a forum, to put it mildly. That's not per se a loss. It makes it interesting and exciting. An individual opinion (based on taste a.o. ingredients) is a great good, no matter how many others disagree or not.

Coming back to what you said: At the same time one should always try to be open minded because nothing is set in stone. New perspectives may change matters.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
-A.
Setting standards for different genres, to me, is an inherently flawed process. First, if you decide that there is a lot of good music in every genre, even genres that you dislike, you will wind up terming songs that you dislike good songs. Since there is not a universal standard for what makes good songs, you will basically be saying that in your judgement, a particular song is good although you do not like it, which is at best borderline contradiction and more likely a full-on contradiction.
While you do make a good point about it being a contradictionary statement, I still don't see a reason why you can't judge songs relative to their genre prerequisites. While there are issues, I feel that there are far more issues as to do the opposite. As to illustrate I'm going to use cars (;) and in reality I know shit about cars). Different cars are developed towards different demographics and intended buyers. So naturally their specifications, designs, price and intended use vary. A ferrari's target buyer is not the same as a mitsubishi, Ford or whatever. Ferrari's are built for speed and flash, Mitsubishi's are just cheap, relatively comfortable, means of transportation but still a car that can suit its target audience needs and should therefore be assessed on partly how well it does in different fields that are relevant to the needs and expectations of the target audience. If we were to assess these cars on speed performance or the level of engine craftmanship then we are obviously going to come to the conclusion that the Mitsubishi is crap. That wouldn't necessarily be a fair assessment of the car as a whole, so you'd need to evaluate the car by other attributes that fits the intention of the car

In the same way you can judge a song relative to the genre: You won't find Petrucci-like shredding in a pop song. The closest well known example is EVH tapping on "Beat It" (which is an awesome, awesome song. There are few modern pop/rock singers as good as jackson was back in the day. Fabulous range of colors, voices and techniques, all which he could switch inbetween effortlessly), so there is no reason as to why you should judge a pop song on lack of virtuosity - I am obviously not saying you even remotely suggested so - It's just a nudge towards the talk of musical complexibility. Pop music isn't supposed to be technical, or that's at least a consequence of the norm, so there's really no point in making complexitibility a chief attribute to judge.

About your previous straw argument: We're fine, don't worry about it. :)

If you're to decide on what song is the ultimate Metallica song, then you're going to have to dig into a lot of different stuff, from different genres. That's all fine and dandy. But the thing about Metallica is, as everybody knows,that they built their fanbase largely on their early stuff and that's what's synonymous with Metallica, and that sets the standards for what Metallica should or should not play. It's kinda like if Ferrari would start to build cars similar to Mercedes. What's the best Ferrari car? Different cars for different purposes.


And I have no idea what to say about Mr Blobby. It obviously isn't something I would like. But it must have some sort of quality that people like - It could be that people did like it, not because of the song itself but because of its associations. Most likely something related to the TV show. It's a spoof song and I guess that's why it's popular, not because people like the song itself, but because its' a spoof. And I admit that there lies something of a problem with my reasoning. I will still argue though, that my sentiment is true in most cases.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
I also love Megadeth. I dig Mustaine's voice, even though he's hardly a good singer by any technical standards. Or well. I dig his vocals (vocals. Not singing) on Megadeth's studio albums, excluding the latest.


About the Taylor Swift tune: I think its strength is the lyrics, which people relate to and Taylor Swift is a decent singer. Like Dave Grohl said: "Most white people dance to the lyrics". Thats the quality people relate to and one of the reasons it became a hit.

Edit: I should add that Grohl said this about how to a write a hit song. Kinda entertaining vid.
Enjoy :D . He's awesome, as usual.

Edit: Also, yet another thing as to the problem with not judging songs or albums in context with the the genre. I read a review of Linkin Park's debut album on Allmusic. It got three stars. Three fucking stars. I think It's fuckin' awesome in relation to the genre, but what obviously reviewed by somebody who doesn't even like the genre (which you can tell by reading it): http://www.allmusic.com/album/hybrid-theory-mw0000102770

Same thing with Nickleback's Silver Side Up. You gotta try and judge, even though it can obviously be hard, things in its context.
Which genre you prefer or think is superior to whatever is a completely different matter.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Yax, you won me over with the car analogy. Carly Rae Jepson is awesome because I can't get that fucking song out of my head after hearing it and that is the purpose of a pop song. Doesn't matter if I like it.

And that Grohl video is awesome.
 

Dr. Eddies Wingman

Brighter than thousand_suns
In the same way you can judge a song relative to the genre: You won't find Petrucci-like shredding in a pop song. The closest well known example is EVH tapping on "Beat It" (which is an awesome, awesome song. There are few modern pop/rock singers as good as jackson was back in the day. Fabulous range of colors, voices and techniques, all which he could switch inbetween effortlessly), so there is no reason as to why you should judge a pop song on lack of virtuosity - I am obviously not saying you even remotely suggested so - It's just a nudge towards the talk of musical complexibility. Pop music isn't supposed to be technical, or that's at least a consequence of the norm, so there's really no point in making complexitibility a chief attribute to judge.
Interesting discussion you've got going here.

As for MJ's range of colors - is the pun intended? :D
 
About the Taylor Swift tune: I think its strength is the lyrics, which people relate to and Taylor Swift is a decent singer. Like Dave Grohl said: "Most white people dance to the lyrics". Thats the quality people relate to and one of the reasons it became a hit.

The thing is even her fans agree the lyrics are bad lol. The song is made fun of all the time.

I think the attention it's received is because of its low quality and its catchiness, and it parodies Taylor's own songs (which apparently wasn't the intention when she wrote the song).

Ke$ha receives a lot of attention for being an awful vocalist (which she actually isn't*), and she's a superstar. This is another case of how being of lower quality actually helped garner more attention. Though I personally think she writes great pop songs, and they serve the intended purpose.

* I personally think her cover of "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" is stunning.


Interesting discussion we're having here. What I would like to add to this part is that's not one way or the other only. I disagree with the words in red because it's more complex than that.
It's possible to both care about vocals and to not care about vocals. It depends on what is presented.

I also place music above vocals but I have certain limits. E.g. I utterly dislike Mustaine's voice. At the same time I am very much into instrumental music.

So according to my standards, if music contains vocals then these should be bearable (music is still more important), but on the other hand, I also like music without vocals, because in this way one can enjoy the music more (focus is better without a dominant factor). This already happens within Iron Maiden songs (instrumental passages).

I have a couple of hundred Jazz albums and 99,9% is without vocals. Vocals would distract the attention from the instrumentation. I also like instrumental songs in metal. E.g. Genghis Khan is my no. 10 Maiden song and Transylvania no. 21. But also other hard rock bands, e.g. Running Wild made very interesting instrumental songs.

In short: I don't find Orion that excellent but not because it is instrumental.
The reason I am not impressed is that it is a much too lengthy and repetitive instrumental.
Personally, I'm more of a vocal person than a guitar/bass/drums person. So if, say, Bruce sang his vocal line on "Aces High" over an awful beat with awful guitars or what have you, I'd still be able to listen to it (though I wouldn't like it quite as much). On the other hand, I can't listen to music with a vocalist I don't like regardless of how great the music is. Take Gojira. I love their music, but it's unlistenable unless I literally go on Audacity and remove the vocals.

However, I love instrumentals. One of my favorite songs ever is "Endurance" by Timothy Mahr. I adore "La Villa Strangiato" and "YYZ." Gary Moore's "The Loner" is stunning. I have a friend who always says, "I hate when songs have long instrumentals," yet she loves Slash's solo in 'Don't Cry."

People are just strange.
 

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
People are just strange.
People are strange
When you're a stranger
Faces look ugly
When you're alone

Women seem wicked
When you're unwanted
Streets are uneven
When you're down

When you're strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you're strange
No-one remembers your name
When you're strange
When you're strange
People are strange
 
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